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Dec 5, 2009 05:32 AM

Chicken Stock for Beef Stew?

I haven't made a beef stew in awhile and have been looking online for some ideas. I have never heard of using chicken stock but have seen it listed in a few different recipes.

Has anyone ever tried this?

And while we are talking stew, any good recipes? (I like to take a few and then make up my own)

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  1. i usually start these kinds of things with some water and either beer or wine and let the meat make its own stock. once the meat is cooked, i put everything in the fridge overnight so i can de-fat in the morning. then i remove all solids i've put in, and reduce the heck out of the liquid.

    i'm not a recipe kinda gal with stews or braises, i confess. i sear the meat on all sides, then remove it. then add onions and carrots to the fat and caramelize those, along with dried herbs like bay and thyme. add the meat back, and the liquids. sometimes tomato paste. when the stew is done, i'll toss out the stock veggies and add new, plus potatoes and mushrooms and cook those just til done. i hate mushy veg in stews.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Ditto, "let the meat make it's own stock." I like to sear the meat, carmelize the onions, then braise in water, beer or wine, herbs, garlic, a bit of tomato paste and let the onions melt down while braising to flavor and thicken the stock. Add potatoes and carrots, mushrooms, or peas at the very end, whatever you like, cook until veg are just tender and that's it.

    2. Yes, this is a common thing. The finished stew won't taste chicken-y. Better to use chicken than storebought beef stock, which is never of comparable quality. Even better of you have homemade chicken stock. Many people, including me, like onion soup made with a combo of chicken and beef stock. Whenever I make turkey stock, which I don't much enjoy in other soups, I add beef base and water, which is wonderful for onion soup.

      3 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        I too use chicken stock in beef stew after reading an article in CI a few years ago evaluating commercial beef broths. Was it you who said that Swanson's now make a beef STOCK rather than broth that's actually good? And, yes, the stew has no chicken flavor.

        Edit --- Here's the recipe I used twice recently. You add the carrots and potatoes well into the cooking of the meat. They stay nice and firm while still adding plenty of flavor.

        1. re: c oliver

          Yes, the Swanson's STOCK is pretty good. I used it in Cincinnati chili back when I was in the States.

        2. re: greygarious

          oooh, i much prefer onion soup with chicken stock! ever tried red onions? very nice change-up.

        3. I do this all the time. In fact, I use whatever stock I have available when I make a beef stew. Vegetable stock works nicely as well. You'll get plenty of flavor from the beef.
          I agree that whatever homemade stock you use would be better than using storebought beef stock.
          Adding the carrots and potatoes later is a good method. I also add parsnips and rutabaga because I like the character they add to the liquid.

          1. Absolutely...Anything, (well almost) is better than plain water...I start the process with good beef stock/broth rather than tying to make one as I go along....

            1. The chicken broth gives a luscious flavor and texture to the sauce. I've not used it for stew but often use chicken broth instead of beef broth when making a braise with chuck roast and the typical stew vegetables; if using chix broth I don't usually include wine.